“In the end, we will protect only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught”

Senegalese poet and naturalist Baba Dioum

The Nature Chelsea education program focuses on bringing an awareness of biodiversity through habitats to the elementary schools of Chelsea. In collaboration with the science teachers of Chelsea Elementary School, we developed and implemented a wetlands teaching unit in spring 2009 to the grades 5 and 6 students. The participating students learned about different types of wetlands, how to identify species of plants and animals that live in wetlands, the ecology of wetlands, and conducted a wetland survey near the school.

In spring 2009 Nature Chelsea organized a BioBlitz for Chelsea Elementary School and Ecole du Grand Boise. With the help of many parent volunteers and teachers, students from the two schools participated in a BioBlitz of the natural habitats surrounding their school. Teams of students recorded as many species of plants and animals as they were able to find. The BioBlitz was a huge success. Enthusiastic cries of excitement rang through the forests as students discovered a spider, a new plant or a prized salamander. The day was a celebration of the rich diversity of life in Chelsea.

During fall and winter 2009, grade five students from Ecole du Grand Boise and grade five and six students from Chelsea Elementary School are participating in a pilot forest teaching unit. Students are learning to identify species of trees, how to calculate the age of a tree, and the habits of forest animals during winter. Volunteer Forester Vincent Barrette is providing his expertise on forests and leading workshops for the students.

Nature Chelsea has also developed and led workshops for children and adults on black bear ecology and how to be bearwise in Chelsea.